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Afar Region

Afar is a semi-arid region of northeastern Ethiopia. Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA) published in 2005, the region has an estimated total population of 1,389,000, consisting of 772,000 men and 617,000 women. 1,263,000 or 91% of the population are considered rural inhabitants, while 126,000 or 9.1% are urban. With an estimated area of 96,707 square kilometers, the region has an estimated population density of 14 persons per square kilometer. Of the rural population of the region, most are subsistence pastoralists and heavily depend on livestock for their survival (Table 1). Each pastoralist needs a minimum of about 1,000- 1,750 kg live-weight biomass (4-7TLUs) or roughly 2-5 camels or 4-7 cattle or 25- 77 sheep and goats to survive. Pastoralists with fewer than 5 TLU’s are generally considered poor. On average, Afar pastoralists possess about 4 TLU's. The region has been experiencing major droughts every 2-3 years since 1990 in which a large part of the population has been affected.
Most available grazing areas are at considerable distances from existing water sources forcing already weakened livestock from drought contidtions to travel long distances. Inter-ethnic conflicts within the region have also impaired livestock movement to traditional dry season grazing areas, further exacerbating the feed problem and at the same time resulting in underutilization of grazing resources in such areas.

            Livestock population in the Afar region

Species

Numbers

Per capita*

Cattle

2,318,220

1.7

Sheep

2,499,640

1.8

Goats

4,444,290

3.2

Camels

859,580

0.62

Source: Central Statistical Agency, 2005

* Calculated from human and livestock population figures

ESGPIP’s target woredas in the Afar region

Afar

The ESGPIP is working in four woredas of the total of 29 woredas in the Afar Region. The woredas are, Chifra, Gewane and Mille.
Chifra
Chifra is part of Administrative Zone 1, Chifra is located near the base of the eastern escarpment of the Ethiopian highlands and bordered on the south by Mille, on the west by the Oromia Region, on the north by the Administrative Zone 4, and on the east by the Dubti woreda.
Based on figures published by the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this woreda has an estimated total population of 90,896, of whom 39,706 were male and 51,190 were female; 1,209 or 1.33% of its population are urban dwellers, which is less than the Zonal average of 14.9%.
Gewane
Gewane is part of Administrative Zone 3. It borders on the south with Amibara, on the west by Bure Mudaytu, on the northwest by Administrative Zone 5, on the north by Administrative Zone 1, on the east by the Somali Region, and by the Oromia Region on the southeast.  The Awash River defines parts of the boundary with Administrative Zones 3 and 5.
The woreda has an estimated total population of 36,813, of whom 15,959 are male and 20,854 are female; 12,611 or 34.26% of its population are urban dwellers, which is greater than the Zone average of 27.8% (Central Statistical Agency, 2005).
Mille
Mille is named after the Mille River, a tributary of the Awash River, which flows through the woreda. Mille is part of the Administrative Zone 1, bordering on the south by the Administrative Zone 3, on the southwest by Administrative Zone 5, on the west by the Amhara Region, on the northwest by Chifra, on the northeast by the Dubti woreda, and on the east by the Oromia Region.
Based on figures published by the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this woreda has a total population of 88,081 (39,556 males and 48,525 females). Some 5,787 or 6.57% of the woreda’s population are urban dwellers, which is less than the Zone average of 14.9%.

   
Chifra Gewane Mile